School Is No Place for Sick Kids… Keep Them Home!

sick kidsI’m finally well enough to write this post — thanks to a stomach bug taking over our house, just a week after I recovered from the flu for the second time this year. I knew it was coming — our elementary school sent out a blast about all the germs and grossness going around. Strep, flu, lice, pink eye, stomach bug — you name it. Kids are dropping like flies at both of my children’s schools.

Let’s talk about why it’s so bad in school: Because kids are going to school sick. I get it; I’m a working parent and have busy days, but good grief. I don’t send my kids to school knowing they are sick even if I have an important meeting or deadline. If your kid is feeling sick, running a fever, has itchy eyes, complaining of a stomachache — the answer is not school. It’s rest, fluids, and love at home. If they start feeling unwell at school and come home sick, then that’s one thing.

I think we all know when our kids are not acting like their normal, healthy selves. For my older son, he will sleep and he NEVER wants to sleep. We know if he takes a nap or falls asleep in the middle of the day, it’s not long before something surfaces. For our younger son, he stops eating. If he skips a meal, we know some sort of illness is imminent.

Given how much illness we’ve experienced this year, and it’s only March, we are all taking extra steps to stay well.

  • Washing our hands. Sounds ridiculous, but this is the way germs spread. Wash, and wash often. If you have an Alexa, ask her to play the hand-washing song for your little one. We discovered it by accident and now he asks to wash his hands. Win!
  • Sanitizing our hands. Don’t leave home without the hand sanitizer. The minute you open a door or touch something that is a high-traffic area, grab the sanitizer.
  • Not skipping vitamins. To be honest, we’ve been slacking on our vitamins so, guess what stays out on the counter so we don’t forget each morning? Also, make sure they have zinc.
  • Getting rest. Getting plenty of sleep is key for a strong immune system.
  • Time outdoors. Nothing is better than fresh air and the great outdoors for your immune system. I like to walk on the beach and soak up the salty air and vitamin D.
  • Hitting the gym. Get active with the family as regular exercise strengthens the immune system and makes you less likely to catch upper respiratory infections.
  • Avoiding crowded places. There are a few places I can count on picking up germs, so we are now passing on visiting during the peak sick season.
  • Disinfecting. At the first sign of someone sneezing or coughing in our house, we grab some Lysol wipes and go to town to hopefully prevent others from catching it. Cold and flu germs can live on surfaces for up to two days.
  • Not sharing cups and towels. Try and avoid drinking out of the same cups and sharing hand towels, etc. I took a sip of my son’s milkshake the day before he got sick, and I knew I was doomed because of it.

These are simple things that can make a big difference. But in the end, nothing is more effective in preventing the spread of illness than staying home and avoiding spreading more germs than are already out there.

Kerry Schicker
Boy mom. Household CEO. Corporate leader. Outdoor lover. Social seeker. Sun worshipper. Curious traveler. Champagne enthusiast. These words describe me, Kerry Schicker, and contributor for Jacksonville Mom. I first approached founders Vicky and Megan after a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I had a very unpleasant experience with my OB at the time and I needed to get it off my chest so I wrote an anonymous blog that resonated with some of our readers. I have since written dozens of blogs mostly about motherhood. I have a passion for writing. My 20-year career has grown through some form of writing including TV news reporting and producing, magazine publishing, public relations, advertising, marketing, blogging and my current day job doing HR and employee communications for a Fortune 300 FinTech company. I am thankful that Jacksonville has such a supportive community for moms like me, and I can't imagine raising my two boys anywhere else.


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